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This review is from: ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink
Pros: Large copper heatsink looks nice
Cons: Compared to the install of the standard Intel heatsink, this Zalman install was difficult. I had a retail Intel heatsink installed on my G3258 which I decided to upgrade. I removed the existing Intel heatsink and processor in about 2 minutes. I then installed my new processor in about another minute. This Zalman heatsink required an hour to install. I had to remove the motherboard, then screw the retaining clip in. I then reinstalled the processor, applied the thermal compound and wrestled with the heatsink's screws to get it secure.
My biggest mistake was reinstalling the motherboard in my case after I attached the socket clip. The case kept blocking access to the screws on this heatsink.
Other Thoughts: I have owned several Zalman heatsinks over the years. I also have a few aftermarket coolers from other brands Given what you're paying for a nice looking aftermarket heatsink, this installation should have been easier.
If you are starting a build from scratch or are willing to pull your motherboard out of the case then the install should go more smoothly. Get the processor and heatsink on your motherboard first, then install in your case.
Pros: - Unlocked for overclocking
- Low TDP, power efficient
- My sample overclocked to 3.7GHZ on stock 1.2v
Cons: - This isn't any faster than my 3+ yr old AMD Phenom II X4 840 Quad-Core 3.2GHz.
- Two cores
- Limited to 1333 DDR3
Other Thoughts: This is the first Intel processor I have bought in a dozen years. I decided to upgrade to a new system architecture and take advantage of USB3, SATA3 as well as BIOS and power efficiency improvements. This budget CPU is a great starting point. It is not faster than my 3+ year old Phenom but is equivalent for gaming. My plan is to upgrade to an i7 in about 6 months but I didn't want to drop $600 in a system all at once. This CPU is a good placeholder to get some improvements in the system now and also allow for an easy upgrade in the future.
With the right motherboard, this CPU is a great start. As reviewed all over the internet, you can get great results from the overclock. Paired with the correct video card you can get great gaming value and obviously handle your day to day tasks. \
My only complaint is the stock Intel heatsink. It is quiet but does generate a whine as it speeds up. It is the loudest component of my system right now.
Pros: Basic features include USB3, SATA3
BIOS is cluttered but gives access to lots of features
Cons: - Only two DDR3 memory slots
- Only 6 USB connections available, 4XUSB2 and 2XUSB3
- Double expansion slot video card will block one of two PCIX2 slots.
- CPU Voltage is limited to the stock voltage of 1.2v. This pretty much eliminates this board for anyone that wants to overclock their CPU in any way. You can get some overclock just by increasing the clock multiplier but eventually you will hit a wall because you can't add more voltage.
Other Thoughts: For a similar price, there are other motherboards with more USB, more DDR3 and more control in the BIOS. I got this at a steep discount through a NewEgg promotion, so for the price this was a good value. The components look solid and the board looks clean and well constructed. I can't recommend this if there are other boards with more control and versatility at a similar price point.READ FULL REVIEW